Friday, April 10, 2009

Wynn Regrets Opening Encore Now

The second half hour of Jon Ralston's "Face To Face" interview with Steve Wynn is now available, this time focusing on all things political and the national economic challenges.

Among the most interesting and candid bit to readers of this blog will probably be an aside by Wynn in answering Ralston's question about whether President Obama's stimulus efforts can or will work. Wynn said:

"The only person in Nevada, and as far as concerned it’s between me and the President of the United States, who’s creating jobs is me. I created 4,000 jobs in December by hiring people even though it wasn’t the right thing to do now that we look back on it, it would’ve been better to open up next year."

That's pretty blunt. He's equally blunt, though, on folks who would oppose Sen. Harry Reid's re-election next year:

"I think anybody in Nevada who doesn’t vote for the Senate Majority Leader to get re-elected is really dumb because it’s the most important thing that Nevada’s ever had in Washington."

Soon-to-be ex-wife Elaine Wynn said pretty much the same thing to me last month.

Wynn also offers up an intriguing solution to the national economic doldrums:

"If you wanted to create jobs in every sector of this economy in every community from Seattle to Palm Beach, from Bangor, Me., to Phoenix, we could do it in less than a month without hiring any federal employees. You’d simply say if a company can prove that it increased its regular workforce with health insurance, then you prove to the IRS that you’ve added these people for a period of time and we will give you a tax credit to support the payroll of that new hire. You would see, instead of handing out trillions of dollars in stimulus packages, by not collecting the money, by incentivizing the people to hire other people, by supporting the payroll in forms of tax break, you would have job creation from one end of this country to the next."

He's also got an answer to the America's education crisis:

"If anybody changes their career and become a teacher and gets accredited and works for five years, we will give you tax-free income up to $75,000. We will have a complete change. If you stay for 10 years or get an additional degree, we will give you $100,ooo in tax-free income."

Of course, teachers don't make anything near that kind of money, but it's an interesting idea.

Wynn takes great pity on the leaders in Carson City who have a $3 billion budget hole and few options because, as he says, "the budget of the state of Nevada is a lean machine." He said those who wish to raise taxes are "purely psychotic" but later endorses a doubling of the payroll tax as the fairest means of raising revenue.

But his greatest venom is reserved for owners of nongaming businesses in Nevada. Check out this exchange after Ralston asked him what the wrong thing for the Legislature to do is:

Wynn: I know if they go after the gaming industry, we will have massive, unbelievable cutbacks. The unemployment rate in this state would go to 15 percent. Everyone of these companies is losing money. It’s an insane question even. They’re losing money, including me. The well’s dry. The god-damn businessmen in this state, they’re selfish, selfish, selfish people [who] refuse to take up their fair share.

Ralston: Who are you talking about?

Wynn: The banks. The lawyers. The insurance companies. The construction companies. The whole gang of ‘em.

Aren’t they hurting now too?

Yup. Yup. But they’re not paying the kind of taxes we are.

Ralston then asked about the mining industry and Wynn called it "the most privileged industry in this state, second only to media. ... The mining guys here, they get away with murder. They don’t pay anywhere near their fair share."

Great stuff. Wynn also beats on Obama a few times and has a very funny moment when Ralston is trying to get him to beat up on Gov. Gibbons. Go to the Las Vegas Sun and watch for yourself.


mike_ch said...

On one hand, while I agree with Wynn that non-gaming business can pick up some slack (including mining, hello~ooo) all this ranting about stimulus is surprising since Nevada stands to gain quite a bit from the public projects, especially with the focus on alternative energy. I don't have to explain how a rail system between SoCal and Vegas helps Wynn Resorts, and even if it's just solar panels or something that doesn't help the company directly, that's money for the state that doesn't get pulled out of gaming.

And the GOP fighting against was using a Nevada = Bad angle for weeks, only really calming down after Berkley blew up about it in a session.

And everybody on the Strip loves Reid after he gave tax cuts to companies mired in debt. Still doesn't apologize for cutting spending and increasing tax cuts in the stimulus bill to the point where you have Krugman saying we need twice as much stimulus as we do now. Thanks, Senator Mouse.

I know Steve's a bit of a moderate Republican (or at least more cool about it than Adelson) but it seems like a really odd lot to throw his chips with.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

great summaries, steve. thanks. but why isn't the third segment working? and it's unbelievable that the LV Sun folks don't have a way to embed video.

mike_ch said...

Was the deleted comment spam?


no, just a duplicate post, mike.

Anonymous said...

Wynn maybe a genius in gaming, but he's terrible with public policy. His recommendations on teachers will bankrupt government. In California, we are laying off teachers. Their high pay and medical benefits are making them too expensive to keep. Teachers must be paid market wages with competitive benefits that do not exceed what other workers make.

The stuff on reelecting Senator Reid is a joke. Gosh, Las Vegas needs help like every other city, but Reid is a disaster to America. Does Wynn want a bailout? Maybe he needs one.

Anonymous said...

Steve's comments about Teaches would be great if it would be tied to performance and student high achievement. An educated society is far more precious than anything else our Nation could produce. Ha! try to find it. Most teachers just look at it as a "job". How sad! Performance and a super bonus might change that. Steve is right on about sections of the society not paying their fair share.